Are Recent Grads Remote Work Ready? (Would You Hire Them?)
🤔 To hire, or not to hire?
It may feel as though most businesses have only just fully embraced and fostered Millennial talent in their corporate cultures, and now a new wave of candidates are hitting the job market.
The great news for remote companies: Gen Z (born 1997 - 2012) is by far the most digitally literate. (Crazy sidenote: They don’t know a world without smartphones 😳!) Yet it seems that while they naturally possess the adequate digital skills to fill remote roles, many HR personnel may feel a level of discomfort with inexperienced workers starting positions while physically isolated.
And yes, isolation (and the pangs of loneliness that come with it) are the most frequently cited challenges for remote workers. Employers may need to be more aware of the mental health aspect of remote work for younger candidates; however, the health, safety and wellness of employees should really be treated as integral parts of your company culture in order to adequately support everyone.
So why might you feel uncomfortable hiring new graduates into remote positions? It’s likely because you feel unprepared to provide the support that would enable them to be successful.
The ball’s in your court...
It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring someone from Generation X, Y or Z--or even Baby Boomers! Each comes with varying skill sets and may succeed or falter in remote positions for different reasons. And while a young, inexperienced hire may potentially require more of your attention, one thing is for sure: no matter the candidate, if you don’t actively set them up for success, they won’t be as productive from the get-go, and might even fail.
Nobody wants that to happen. So here are nine ways to help a recent graduate/new hire succeed in a remote position:
- Offer solid onboarding: If you don’t have a solid onboarding process (remote or not remote) in place, it is likely that the first year will be very hard for your hire and your company. Instead, make them feel welcome and informed from day one. If you’re looking for some pointers, check out our “Remote Onboarding Insights and Powerful Protips” article.
- Set expectations: It’s crucial to manage expectations from the start. Identifying what you want and need from your new hire will help them in fulfilling their new role. Communicating clear expectations can also serve as key performance indicators (KPIs) toward gathering evidence of and evaluating their output.
- Provide training: Not only will knowledge sharing and skill building supercharge your business performance, it can boost employee morale. All that plus positively affecting your bottom line is a win-win! (Looking for ways to take your own remote training to the next level? Check out our Trainplaceless program.)
- Facilitate discussions & informal get-togethers: Provide multiple channels for your employees to talk to each-other frequently and about a variety of topics. Some remote companies create chat rooms that can act as “virtual break rooms” where remote workers can have a friendly office chat. This will help your team bond and will also help your remote workers fight the work from home blues.
- Monitor your team: Frequent and regular check-ins with your remote workers are key. Don’t let this fall by the wayside. There’s nothing like a one-on-one talk to ensure things are progressing as desired, and everyone is on the same page. But what if you could take this a step further and you could gauge your remote colleague’s mood, engagement, wellbeing and collaboration efforts? Tools like Elin.ai can help you accomplish that.
- Develop social capital: Help new virtual employees develop their social capital. Encourage teammates to share their expertise with one another via communication channels and on team calls. Tools like Donut and 15five also enable employees to meaningfully connect with and thank one another, and offer greater insight into their work lives.
- Career planning and development: Working far from colleagues doesn’t have to negatively impact your employees’ career development, either. Our “7 Keys to Remote Career Development” article highlights focus areas and steps for creating and owning a remote career plan.
- Establish boundaries: Help your employees understand that while they work from home, that doesn’t mean that they’re on-duty 24/7. It’s incredibly important to establish a clear work-schedule and boundaries to protect employees from burnout and gives you a tool to hold them accountable. After all, this relationship needs to work for both parties.
- Prevent Isolation: While other points address preventing isolation, it deserves its own category. Taking the extra effort to reach out to colleagues and synchronously discuss challenges with them can make all the difference in morale. Follow all of the suggestions above and be in touch with them frequently. Let your employees know you care and that you’re there for them.
Tell us what YOU think...
Managers, are you ready to hire a new grad into a remote position? Would you onboard or support your first-job remote hires differently than experienced remote hires?
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New grads, does starting your career remotely leave you anxious? Tell us why (or why not).
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